EXCLUSIVE: West Ham agree deal to sign Heitinga from Everton as Big Sam reinforces for relegation battle

By John Edwards

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Sam Allardyce has reinforced West Ham’s bid for Barclays Premier League survival by agreeing a deal for experienced Everton utility player John Heitinga.

Sportsmail understands Upton Park officials have put the finishing touches to the move and will confirm his arrival when the window opens in the New Year.

The 30-year old Holland defender is out of contract at the end of the season, and it is understood agreement has been reached over the 1.5million still outstanding on his 65,000-a-week wages.

On the move: John Heitinga (right) is leaving Everton to join West Ham's battle against relegation

On the move: John Heitinga (right) is leaving Everton to join West Ham's battle against relegation

Allardyce believes it will be money well spent, if the tough-tackling former Atletico Madrid player can provide the bite needed to steer his side towards safety.

Heitinga can operate at right-back or centre-half, or as a midfield anchor man, and will offer Allardyce extra options, as the West Ham manager attempts to arrest a slide in his team’s fortunes and lead them away from the danger zone.

After appearing on a regular basis under former Everton boss David Moyes, Heitinga has found starting opportunities in short supply under current manager Roberto Martinez and is relishing the prospect of a fresh challenge.

Sliding in: John Heintinga (bottom) will strengthen West Ham's dwindling central defensive options

Sliding in: John Heintinga (bottom) will strengthen West Ham's dwindling central defensive options

Experienced pro: Holland's John Heitinga played in the 2010 World Cup final against Spain, but was sent off

Experienced pro: Holland's John Heitinga played in the 2010 World Cup final against Spain, but was sent off

Pouncing: Sam Allardyce (left) is taking advantage of Roberto Martinez not playing the defender
Pouncing: Sam Allardyce (left) is taking advantage of Roberto Martinez not playing the defender

Pouncing: Sam Allardyce (left) is taking advantage of Roberto Martinez (right) not playing the defender

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

Like has been said a good lad, meant to be a solid presence in the changing room and a good team player. As a defender though he is slow, turns like the QE2 and does let his attention wander...usually as an attacker is flying past him. On the plus side he is fearless and would happily run through brick walls for his side...in fact he's probably best used running through brick walls as he'd be able to catch up to most of them.

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Another QUALITY signing by Allardyce! LOL!

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Signed for everton in 2009. Only had one decent season with us He only wants to play centre back.ask him to play anywhere else he sulks. Always got the impression that he thought he was better than he is just because he had a world cup losers medal. Makes to many mistakes for a defender. But who knows if west ham sign him he will be playing for a future contract

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Good luck mate you'll need it. As Yeti said he's past it and too slow!!! Berbatov will fly past him and that's saying something.

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Good luck mate you'll need it! As Yeti said he's past it and too slow!!!

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My favourite Jonny moment was when he barged into Ashley Cole after scoring in the shootout at Stamford Bridge. Probably my favourite game I've ever attended.

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Ball watches too often.

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Good signing. He's a good player when on form.

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Good signing

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Big Sam's swan song, I'll bet he can't wait to get out of that toxic club.

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